Chicago mayor fires police chief weeks earlier than his retirement, accusing him of mendacity


CHICAGO (Reuters) – Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot fired Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson on Monday although he was about to retire, accusing him of mendacity to her about an incident in October when patrol officers discovered him sleeping in his automotive.

Johnson’s termination comes weeks after he introduced his retirement after main the second-largest U.S. police drive for 3 years, saying that the job had taken a toll on his well being, household and pals.

Within the early morning of Oct. 17, cops discovered Johnson, 59, in his automotive. He initially stated he had fallen asleep on account of blood stress medicine, however native media later reported that he had informed Lightfoot he had a “couple of drinks” earlier than driving.

At a information convention, Lightfoot refused to reveal particulars of her accusations in opposition to Johnson, saying solely that there have been inconsistencies between what he informed her and what she noticed on a video recording of the incident.

“He informed me one thing that occurred that night time that turned out to be essentially completely different than what he portrayed to me and portrayed to members of the general public,” she stated.

Lightfoot stated that it grew to become clear that Johnson “engaged in a sequence of actions which can be insupportable for any chief able of belief” after she reviewed the town’s ongoing investigation.

“Mr. Johnson failed the hard-working members of the Chicago Police Division. He deliberately misled the individuals of Chicago and he deliberately misled me,” she stated.

Johnson didn’t remark to native media on Monday when requested in entrance of his dwelling about his termination.

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Johnson stated when he introduced his retirement on Nov. 7 that he would keep on the job via the remainder of the 12 months to assist with the transition to a successor. Former Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck was made Chicago’s interim police superintendent a day later.

Lightfoot stated on Monday that if she knew the reality, she wouldn’t have participated within the “celebratory” press convention held to announce Johnson’s retirement.

“We require a frontrunner whose actions replicate the integrity and legitimacy of what it means to be a Chicago Police Officer,” Lightfoot stated. “I’m assured that incoming Interim Superintendent Beck is such a frontrunner.”

Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Chicago; Enhancing by Chizu Nomiyama, Matthew Lewis and Dan Grebler

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